MANAGING THE “SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME”
So, what exactly does that mean?
Managing the Shiny Object Syndrome is often the key to getting both your focus and your sanity back!
First, let’s start with how this happens. It happens to all of us from time to time, but for many of us, it’s a constant battle. I know, I’m one of those that constantly battles to stay focused.
WHAT IS A “SHINY OBJECT”?
I define a “shiny object” as anything that gets and holds your attention long enough to disrupt your focus and direction and take you off course. It’s like a train derailing and never making it to its destination. The shiny object is something that looks better, more fun, more stimulating, and more rewarding than the task, project, or issue at hand.
It’s soooo easy to move toward the shiny object – it’s new, it’s pretty, and it keeps us distracted from what we don’t want to do at the moment.
WHY IS DISTRACTION SO DESIRABLE?
Distraction is fun.
Distraction seem easier.
Distraction gives us new energy.
Distraction delays the inevitable.
You know the drill – you start to tackle something that you’ve been dreading, or something that is extremely difficult and time-consuming. That’s when the shiny object syndrome takes over.
[Tweet “The shiny object syndrome takes over when you need a break from what you don’t want to do.”]
Whatever looks more promising, more fun, or less difficult gets your attention, right?
I remember studying for my CPA exam. It was such a challenge for me – one that I had not anticipated would be so hard. I was working during the day and studying at night. There were never enough hours. I should have been studying every minute of every day. But what did I do? I cleaned like a tornado. Every nook and cranny of my house was spotless. I rearranged cabinets and the pantry when they didn’t need it. When someone reached out to grab a quick bite or a movie, I was IN!
I got it done, but those distractions did not help one bit.
HOW THIS CAN CARRY THROUGH TO YOUR LIFE OR BUSINESS
Whether you have a clear vision for your life, or a robust business plan for your business, those shiny objects can sure get in the way of you achieving your goals. By the time you realize what has happened, you have usually lost a lot of time. That same behavior I had when I was studying for my CPA exam carried forward into my life as a business owner. I had always worked for someone else, so the structure provided by having to answer to someone else was a blessing for me. It kept my shiny object syndrome in check.
Once I started working for myself, it felt like a free-for-all. I could do whatever I wanted, on my schedule, on my terms. The distractions started coming, and I allowed them in – freely. It wasn’t until I learned to control my response to them that my business started to flourish.
It’s even worse when you have others working for and with you. They look to you for direction, and if you’re distracted, they aren’t sure what to do or what they are working toward.
[Tweet “When I learned to manage my shiny object syndrome, my business began to flourish.”]
HOW YOU CAN MANAGE IT
There are ways to get this under control.
Here are a few suggestions you might find helpful…
- Pay attention to the thoughts and ideas that come to you. Make a point to jot them down and continue to focus on what you were working on when they came to you.
- When someone asks you to do something, and it’s not mandatory – it’s okay to say “NO”. Weigh requests from others based on what you are able to build into your current schedule and/or the importance of their request to you or them.
- Evaluate the ideas and thoughts that seem attractive against your bigger vision for your life and/or business. Will the thing that is distracting you contribute to achieving your plan or goals? If not, let it go. If so, go ahead and schedule some time to explore it.
- When you’re faced with a personal purchase or business expense, you can use the same tips – decide if this is a want or need and allow yourself to make a thoughtful decision. Simply avoid the emotional purchase you might regret later.
- Get clear on your priorities and use your prime time to get those done. If you have time left over, use that time to explore these interesting ideas or requests.
- Remember to give yourself some time for a break and/or some distractions. When you have a balanced schedule with time built in for being “off the clock”, you will be better equipped to handle the distractions that come across your normal day.
SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
- How will you manage this in your life?
- Has this been an issue for you in your business?
- Does this issue impact your purchasing decisions?
Let me know how this applies to you in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you deal with this issue!
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Hi! I’m Tina Meilleur, an Executive Coach, Business Advisor, author and speaker. My mission is to help you grow your business by helping you focus on what to do next. I can take you from UNCERTAINTY TO FOCUSED ACTION to get results AND help surround you with support from me and my community! According to my clients, my coaching programs and CRAVE™ process provide gateways for making simple “tweaks” or a total up-level of your life or business. I am also the founder of Design Your Success, the online Academy for Business Success and the author of Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating the Life of Your Dreams to help you create your own kick-ass future. I have a CPA designation in the State of Louisiana and received my MBA from Tulane University in their Executive MBA program. I’m a highly sought-after coach, facilitator of female CEO round-tables, business strategist, and speaker. You can click here to learn more about my story, or reach out to me at Tina@DesignYourSuccess.com.